Cabinet with Chinese and American Motifs

Dutch1690-1700 (Baroque)

The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum

This cabinet was made by a Dutch craftsman to imitate the expensive lacquered Chinese and Japanese chests imported by the Dutch East India Company. The painter adapted some motifs, such as the pagodas on the drawer fronts, from Chinese porcelains, but the figures are only Asian by virtue of their long embroidered coats with sashes. The headwear, including feather headdresses, is completely fanciful. Some figures are actually Native Americans, adapted from engravings of 1584 reporting English explorations of Virginia. On the exterior side panels are remarkable adaptations of engravings recording a French expedition of 1564 to Florida. Young "Floridians" play competitive games while beautiful birds imaginative renderings of the bird of paradise from the East Indies swoop around them. The maker surely hoped that his customers would just enjoy the exotic details.

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  • Title: Cabinet with Chinese and American Motifs
  • Date Created: 1690-1700 (Baroque)
  • Physical Dimensions: w95 x h82.5 cm
  • Type: kunstkastje; cabinets
  • Rights: Gift of the Barra Foundation, Inc., 1974, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
  • External Link: The Walters Art Museum
  • Medium: wood (pine) with paint and gilt
  • Provenance: Barra Foundation, Inc., [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, June 1974, by gift.
  • Place of Origin: Netherlands
  • Artist: Dutch